City Week: Shelter at Home
If, though you never thought you'd say it, you're not feeling up to another Netflix binge tonight, here are a couple of other, local suggestions to keep yourself entertained this week. Some also include opportunities to support local nonprofits and arts organizations, which is a worthwhile endeavor if you can afford it. If you can't, many of these items are being offered for free or on a pay-what-you-can basis. Stay safe, stay in and stay sane, Tucson!
Theatre and Performances
Fridita y El Pincel Magico. Come watch a virtual show hosted by Live Theatre Workshop! They'll be broadcasting a recording of a previously performed show about young Frida and her magic paintbrush, learning how to find a balance between exploring her imagination and living in the real world. Staff members will be online for a live chat and to answer questions throughout the evening. Gather your family and a dinner of your choice for a night in. 6 p.m. Saturday, April 11. Visit Live Theatre Workshop's Facebook page to tune in. Free.
Unscrewed Theater is doing weekly improv performances at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays. If you want to learn how to do it yourself, try out their drop-in improv class from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday nights. No experience necessary, and the class is pay-what-you-can. Plus, check out their YouTube channel for more funny content. Visit unscrewedtheater.org.
In lieu of live performances, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra is featuring treats on their website, such as recordings of performances earlier in the season, lesson plans for kids and a YouTube playlist of pieces featured in next year's classic series compiled by conductor José Luis Gomez. Keep up at their Facebook page or tucsonsymphony.org.
Arizona Theatre Company is offering a stream to The Legend of Georgia McBride, the run of which was cut short by COVID-19 measures. Purchase a virtual ticket at arizonatheatre.org, and download and watch the stream by Wednesday, April 15 ($25 rental). They've also moved their learning and education initiatives online, with Zoom classes at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to get involved.
Friday Nights In. The Fox Tucson Theatre is offering streams of concerts by local artists at 7 p.m. on Fridays. Go grab some takeout and cozy up for an at-home concert. Get a name-your-price virtual ticket at paypal.me/foxtucsontheatre.
The Gaslight Theatre and Gaslight Music Hall are posting clips of old performances to their social media pages. Visit their Facebook pages to relive shows like their Viva Las Vegas Star-Studded Spectacular and performances by groups like the Manhattan Dolls.
Tohono Chul has several exhibits available for virtual viewing. "On The Desert: The Disovery and Invention of Color" is all about the beautiful rainbow woven throughout our desert. "Slices of Sonora" features cross sections of trees from the Sonoran Desert inlaid with materials like wool, velvet and beads. And featured artists Paul Anders-Stout and Nicholas Bernard have their colorful ceramic and glass forms on display. Check out the exhibits at tohonochul.org.
Visit the Tucson Museum of Art's Facebook page to see pieces from the galleries, plus information about the artists.
The Etherton Gallery's Saturday showcase presents casual video chats with Terry Etherton and some of their artists. They've also set up artnet and Artsy accounts with thousands of works from the gallery's artists. Browse to your heart's content! Visit their Facebook page to tune in and learn more.
The Center for Creative Photography has several online collections, including many pieces by Ansel Adams. Take a virtual look, or download their new app, CCP Interactive, by visiting ccp.arizona.edu.
If you want to make your own art, there are a couple of great local places to turn. Visit Lucky Cat Social Art on Facebook for crafting tutorials with simple materials you probably have lying around the house. Get a jewelry-making kit shipped to you from BEAD Holiday, and watch some of their livestreams, also on Facebook. Or follow along with a Bob Ross-style livestream at Creative Juice.
Yoga. Tucson Yoga is offering classes every day over Zoom—from gentle and restorative classes to mindfulness-focused classes to a 75-minute flow class, tune in and pay what you can. Visit tucsonyoga.com for details. Yoga Oasis has a variety of classes available for rent, including a four-hour workshop called "From Tadasana to Savasana" and a series on backbends, if you're looking for more specialized courses. Visit yogaoasis.com.
Dance. Floor Polish has affordable, livestreamed classes on everything from burlesque to ballet to bellydance. Visit floorpolishdance.com for times and prices—a few of the classes are offered for free. BreakOut Studios has plenty of online courses on their YouTube page, from all-levels hip hop to guided meditation to lyrical, jazz and tap. Visit breakoutstudiostucson.com.
FitnessBlender. OK, this resource isn't local, but I love to plug my favorite YouTube account where I can. Fitness Blender is run by a husband and wife team named Daniel and Kelly, or, as I like to call them every time I finish one of their workouts, "my best friends." They have hundreds of free workouts available on YouTube, which you can search by length, type of work out or part of your body you want to focus on. Many also include low-impact modifications.
If you promise to keep your distance from other people, you can take a hike at Saguaro National Park, though all restrooms, visitors centers and comfort stations are closed. They've also suspended fee collection operations. The parking lots can get crowded, especially between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., so consider going to a lesser-used area of the park. Visit nps.gov/sagu or their Facebook page for more info.
The Loop. The Loop is still open for walking, running biking and whatever else keeps you active. Make sure to keep appropriate distance from others (getting up early helps), but this is a great way to get outside into the sunshine and get moving.
Fun in General
If you've ever visited the Butterfly Magic exhibit at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, you know how peaceful and pleasant it is. So the livestream the gardens has going, of the butterflies flitting around their tropical paradise, is food for the soul. Visit tucsonbotanical.org.
Zoo to You. We can't physically visit the Reid Park Zoo right now, but every day at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., their blog and social media pages will have fun facts, photos and behind-the-scenes looks at the zoo. Maybe what you need right now is a deep dive into the history of Ronnie, the Trumpeter Hornbill. Maybe you want an activity page to do with your kids. Maybe you just need some comforting footage of a tortoise getting a shower. Visit reidparkzoo.org for all of it.
Let Don Guerra, a baker from Tucson who was named one of the top 10 bakers in the U.S. by Dessert Professional Magazine, teach you how to make artisan bread in your own home. Over the course of a few short videos, he'll teach you how to bake whole grain sourdough bread ($30) or a Barrio Bread pizza crust (free!) Visit breadlessons.com.
A Soothing Space
Positive vibes aren't enough to get us through this pandemic, but positive vibes are gonna help. Esther Sternberg, founding director of the UA Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance, recommended the following tips for keeping your space feeling good while you're in it 24/7.
• Try to connect with nature, somehow. Maybe that means working near a window, or setting a photo of nature as your screensaver, or sitting near a potted plant. Whatever you can do. It's supposed to be calming.
• Declutter. Not that I would know anything about this, but if you were to, say, have a pile of papers that's been slowly creeping across your dining room table, leaving less and less room for you to eat dinner every night, that would be stressful, right? Clean things up a bit and,
• Let some positive sound in. Set aside some time to make yourself a playlist full of songs that are fun, or soothing, or uplifting—whatever you feel like you need right now.
• Touch something soft! Slip into a pair of fuzzy socks when it's time for bed. Or, perhaps even better yet, foster an animal from a local shelter.
• Surround yourself with smells that make you happy, whether that means busting out the essential oils, lighting a candle or throwing a batch of cookies in the oven.
• Get some fresh air. Or at least some good ventilation. Open the windows, take periodic walks and try to get some sunshine.
• Find a comfortable temperature and humidity—Sternberg's research with the U.S. General Services Administration has found that 40 to 50 percent humidity is best for reducing stress, and that this range is also associated with lower viral infection risk. Consider purchasing a portable humidifier for the building where you work or sleep, if you don't have a central one.